Since many psychopathological traits seem to be related to Gambling Disorder (GD), impulsivity, alexithymia and dissociation could play a central role in gambling behaviors, particularly in pathological gambling. We test this hypothesis in four distinct samples of gamblers, three undergoing different types of treatments and a control group. The study sample consists of 204 subjects (males 87.3%, mean age=47.75 years, SD=12.08) divided into four groups: (1) 59 subjects belonging to an Outpatients Treatment Program in the National Health System (NHS); (2) 60 subjects of an Outpatients Self-Help Group Program; (3) 35 subjects belonging to a Residential Treatment Program (Inpatients Program); and (4) 50 subjects without gambling problems (Control Group). Results show a positive relationship between gambling behaviors, impulsivity and alexithymia, and a negligible link between gambling behaviors and dissociation. Findings also display the presence of higher levels of all these features in pathological gamblers with higher scores on the SOGS, and particularly, in participants attending a Residential Treatment Program (Inpatients Program). This study confirms the hypothesis of the presence of higher levels of impulsivity, alexithymia and dissociation in pathological gamblers with a greater severity and seems to indicate a significant importance of impulsivity and alexithymia in predicting gambling behaviors.
- Biological Psychiatry
- Psychiatry and Mental Health